The story behind Servilles' latest art-inspired campaign

By Janetta Mackay

Paul Serville and artist Judy Millar, standing in front of one of her works, have collaborated for the latest Servilles campaign. Picture / Supplied
Paul Serville and artist Judy Millar, standing in front of one of her works, have collaborated for the latest Servilles campaign. Picture / Supplied

Judy Millar and Paul Serville go way back. The acclaimed artist and leading hair stylist first collaborated in the 1970s when she was his hair model. Now the old friends have come together on Servilles' winter hair campaign - a striking exploration of raw textural gestures in hair and in art.

Serville says he wanted an art gallery feel to his salon group's latest seasonal showcase and immediately thought of Millar, who splits her time between studios in Berlin and Henderson. He sent her the concept and she was enthusiastic about seeing her work outside the gallery environment. Getting her prints - as tall as basketballers -up seven flights of stairs to his HQ was just one logistical challenge. Serville reckons they share a similar work ethic, spending long hours in the salon and studio. "Yet, I don't think either of us has worked a day in our lives! You just feel compelled to make something happen."

For Millar, that has included exploring transferring her brushwork by the medium of billboard printers. Serville also likes pushing the boundaries, aiming to achieve emotion with his craft. During the shoot a straw was used to puff colour just where it was wanted on a model's hair.

Paul Serville and artist Judy Millar. Picture / Andrew O'Toole
Paul Serville and artist Judy Millar. Picture / Andrew O'Toole


"Technically there are parallels," says Millar. "There are aspects of always wanting to mess it up a little bit."

The pursuit of freedom to fuse creativity with their carefully honed professional expertise drives them both. Millar is returning to Berlin via New York to work on commissions.

Serville is looking forward to seeing their collaboration go up outside his salons this month and clients picking up on the adventurous mood of the new season's looks. "During winter people dress up more and the attention comes in around their face and their neck, so your haircut in winter is more likely to be noticed," he says.

It was Millar's beautiful curls that first caught his eye when he was after androgynous models, back in the day. Millar remembers it as a time when "everyone knew everyone" in Auckland.

"It was inevitable that we would work together," she says.

See some of the campaign images here:

- VIVA

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